Sid Fels
Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Director of the Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre (MAGIC), University of British Columbia

George Legrady Paula Levine Munro Ferguson Willy Le Maitre Steve Dietz Perry Hoberman JoAnn Kuchera-Morin Marten Berkman Sid Fels Ruben Moller Leila Sujir Maria Lantin Jaanis Garancs Henry Daniel Catherine Richards Glen Lowry Henry Tsang Alison Reiko Loader
Creating DIVAs and a Personal Three-Dimensional Display

I'll describe our progress on two projects: a gesture-to-speech and song synthesis system called Digital Ventriloquized Actors (DIVA) and the Personal Cubee 3D display. A DIVA is a gesture controlled speech/song synthesizer that has been made to be worn on stage. We have designed a special garment and adapted our gesture-to-speech synthesis system to be easy to learn and play. A DIVA uses normalized radial basis functions to adaptively map hand gestures to visual and audio speech synthesis parameters providing a continuous topological map. In the personal Cubee project, we use 5 small LCD displays arranged in a cube to create a novel 3D display. We use head tracking coupled to perspective viewing to create the 3D effect. I'll show some of the experiments we are doing with the personal Cubee as well as some examples of different content that can be placed inside it. Finally, I will discuss some of the directions on Digital Lifestyles that we are pursuing.


Sid has been in the department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of British Columbia since 1998. Sidney received his Ph. D. and M.Sc. in Computer Science at the University of Toronto in 1994 and 1990 respectively. He received his B.A.Sc. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Waterloo in 1988. He was recognized as a Distinguished University Scholar at UBC from 2004. He was a visiting researcher at ATR Media Integration & Communications Research Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan from 1996 to 1997. He is best known for his work in human-computer interaction, biomechanical modeling, neural networks, intelligent agents, new interfaces for musical expression and interactive arts with over 100 scholarly publications and exhibitions. Sidney is one of the principal investigators of the Institute of Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems through his authoring a national Foundation grant to create a new $22.1M facility to house interdisciplinary research using advanced technologies. He has been the Director of the Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre (MAGIC) since 2001.

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